The price of everything
January has become Classic-car auction season in Arizona. While the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale event is probably the best-known, other auctions are or have happened as well. One lot at Bonhams Scottsdale auction was particularly interesting.
A nice-looking scooter, for sure. In fact, according to the auction catalog the restoration work was overseen by Patrick Fitzgibbons of P-Town Scooters in Portland. The listing includes a brief history of the TV 175, which was available only for a short time. It is the sale price that, to say the least, knocked my socks off.
Twenty-two THOUSAND dollars. Plus buyer’s premium.
This has to be a record. I’ve heard of original-condition Vespa 90S models going for around 10 grand, but… but…
Prices for some collector cars have been mind-boggling for a long time. Certain Ferraris command eight-figure sums; even something as seemingly prosaic as a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda convertible went for $3.5 million in 2014. (Only 13 were built; needless to say, there are a lot of fakes out there…)
But 22 grand for a Lammy? Really?
Collector-car auctions can be quite entertaining—people with lots of money trying to one-up each other at Barrett-Jackson was a staple of SPEED Channel in its heyday, and live coverage continued this year on Discovery and Velocity. Obviously, someone thought this Lambretta was worth a five-figure sum of money.
To me, the price paid makes the scooter too valuable to use as its maker intended. I’d be too worried about damaging it, or leaving it unattended.
But as someone observed, the rich are different from you and me. A lot of cars bought for fantastic sums find their way back to the auction block after a few years, or even a few months. We’ll have to wait and see if this one turns up again.